SOUTHLAKE, TX. – May 17, 2018 – OncoNano Medicine, Inc. today announced the closing of a $11.7 million Series A financing. The transaction was arranged by Salem Partners, who also participated as a principal investor. The Series A funding supplements a $6 million grant previously received from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The funding will be used to support the company’s continued clinical development of a new class of pH-activated compounds that digitalize and exploit the variability of pH in disease indications such as cancer. The company is also pleased to announce the appointment of five established industry leaders to its Board of Directors.
“The raise of our Series A and the expansion of our Board of Directors underscores our tremendous clinical momentum and the excitement surrounding our approach to targeting disease,” said Ravi Srinivasan, Ph.D., founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of OncoNano Medicine. “The team is highly motivated to advance our unique pH-activated compound platform for the development of a broad range of highly targeted therapeutics and imaging agents with the objective of contributing to the improvement of patients’ lives.”
OncoNano is using pH variability, a simple and robust biomarker, to detect and treat diseased tissue. By targeting pH, a clear delineation between diseased and healthy tissue can be digitalized to develop a broad range of targeted applications. The technology and compounds were invented at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center by Dr. Jinming Gao, Professor of Pharmacology and Otolaryngology, and Dr. Baran D. Sumer, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, and are featured in numerous publications, including Nature Materials, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Nature Communications and Advanced Materials.
After co-founding OncoNano, Drs. Gao and Sumer remain on the Scientific Advisory Board while continuing to conduct research in related areas.
The company’s first program with its pH-activated compound platform is ONM100, an injectable imaging agent that targets the acidic pH within tumors to accurately distinguish cancer cells from healthy tissue during surgery. ONM-100 aims to eliminate the “guesswork” often associated with the removal of tumors by providing surgeons with an easier and more effective method to assess lymph nodes and tumor margins in real-time during surgery. The delivery of ONM-100 is designed to fit seamlessly with current surgical practices and can be employed during all steps of cancer surgery including intraoperative, cancer staging and post-surgery evaluation.
“The breadth and depth of medical applications for OncoNano’s pH-activated compounds are tremendous. With these new funds, we will aim to prove the clinical utility of ONM-100 in cancer surgeries and expanding the platform across multiple therapeutic applications,” said Al Guillem, Ph.D, Chairman of the Board. “I am excited to join the company’s Board as Chairman and look forward to working with OncoNano to deliver a new class of products that can help patients combat disease.”
OncoNano’s new Board of Directors are:
- Al Guillem, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board, Former President of ZS Pharma, Inc.
- Ravi Srinivasan, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of OncoNano Medicine
- John Dyett, Founder and Managing Director of Salem Partners, LLC
- Paritosh Dhawale, Ph.D., General Manager of Contrast Media at GE Healthcare
- Joydeep Goswami, Ph.D., President, Clinical NGS and Oncology at Thermo Fisher Scientific
About OncoNano Medicine
OncoNano Medicine is developing a new class of pH-activated compounds that digitalize and exploit the variability of pH in disease. pH variability is a proven, simple and effective identifier of diseased tissue providing a foundation for the development of a broad range of highly targeted therapeutics and imaging agents. Our lead program, ONM-100, targets tumor acidosis to accurately differentiate cancer from healthy tissue for use in surgery.